Flying in comfort and style has come a long way from the days when first class simply meant more leg room and complimentary hot towels. With travel figures back up after scares of terrorism and a bruised economy, airlines are doing whatever they can to entice fliers to spend a little more on their ticket to make that cross-country or red eye flight a little bit more attractive, while the other peasants languish in coach class. Here are five first class flight perks.
1. Goodie Bags
Economy class passengers can make do with a copy of Skyway magazine. For our first glass guests, airlines offer a variety of trinkets and treats in complimentary goodie bags. United, for example, offers toiletries such as lip balm and moisturizer. For Continental’s preferred fliers, the goodie bags contain a toothbrush, toothpaste and a pair of socks. Singapore Airlines gives its first class passengers lotion, lip moisturizer and aromatherapy oils.
2. Good Night
For a lot of fliers, sleeping during a flight is nothing more than a wishful thought. For first class fliers, thanks to gifts like full-size pillows and a privacy divider (United), sleep masks (Delta), adjustable footrest (Continental), and seats that actually convert into beds (Singapore Airlines), the real trick will be to stay awake.
3. Bon Appetite
There have been so many jokes about airline food that they’ve all stopped being funny. Nobody makes jokes about first class food, however, and with good reason: Delta, for example, offers passengers a five course meal, culminating in beef tenderloin or vegetarian pasta, served on china plates with silverware. American Airlines offers filet mignon pot roast and other gourmet dishes – all on the house, of course. Emirates gives its customers their choice of cheese, desserts, teas, liqueurs, four entrees and three hors d’oeuvres.
4. In-Flight Entertainment
For first class passengers, their choice of in-flight entertainment comes down to the number of options the airline gives them. Lufthansa offers 50 movies, 110 TV shows, 200 CDs and 30 radio stations, to say nothing of games and dedicated sports channels.
5. Preparing to Fly the Friendly Skies
In addition to being pampered in the air, first class passengers enjoy a few amenities on the ground. Delta Airlines provides priority check-in, baggage handling, boarding and a separate security line for faster, more expedient, and, one imagines, more pleasant screening.